George Shirley is one of America’s most versatile tenors, in demand nationally and internationally as performer, teacher, and lecturer. He was the first African American vocal music teacher in Detroit’s public high schools and the first African American tenor to sing leading roles with the Metropolitan Opera where he remained for eleven years. He has won international recognition for appearances with the Royal Opera (Covent Garden, London), Deutsche Oper (Berlin), Teatro Colòn, (Buenos Aires), Netherlands Opera (Amsterdam), L’Opéra Monte Carlo, New York City Opera, Scottish Opera (Glasgow), Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Glyndebourne Festival, and Santa Fe Opera, among others. He has recorded for major lables, and in 1968 received a Grammy Award for his role (Ferrando) in the acclaimed RCA recording of Mozart’s Così fan tutte. George Shirley has performed more than 80 operatic roles during his 62-year career. He is the Joseph Edgar Maddy Distinguished University Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of Michigan. In 2011, The Videmus Foundation established the George Shirley Vocal Competition that spotlights the art songs and operatic arias of African American composers. In 2015, he received the 2014 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama.